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tv   [untitled]    November 23, 2013 8:00am-8:31am PST

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tried to address this problem in the past and what we learned is that when we looked at the different best practices, when they tried to address the problem with enforcement only, they found that they really couldn't make a substantive change to the problem to increase access to parking for people with disabilities. and in looking at the different best practice policies what we also did was review interviews with disability advocates in those cities, people who had experienced the parking environment both before and after policy changes. and what we heard from those advocates was that it is pretty clear that all successful programs took an approach that had three key elements: provide more blue zones, in other words increasing the supply, conduct sufficient enforcement on placard use and blue zones and charge placards at meters. we
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learned the cities that implemented only one or two of those key elements were not successful. this next slide represents the committee's first recommendation and that was to increase the supply of blue zones. shown on the picture was a blue zone itself with the mta blands and increasing the number of blue zones is a local initiative. we don't have to go to the state to ask for any changes in state law to do that. one of the reasons why increasing the supply of blue zones is so important is that blue zones actually provide the highest level of access in the parking environment. blue zones are located on a relatively level surface, they have a clear space on the sidewalk adjacent to allow for a ramp van to be able to discharge their van and they have curb
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ramps it allow you to get from the street level on to the sidewalk. so increasing the number of blue zones, our recommendation was to take that to a 4 percent saturation level in san francisco. that would be a 70 percent increase in the number of blue zones in san francisco. we would be getting approximately 470 new blue zones. this is something that the mta has already committed to starting as a project, they have already begun the process of serving locations and blue zones city-wide and this is something that san francisco can initiate without going any further at the state level. this next recommendation is to increase the enforcement over placard misuse. what we're seeing on the photo is a vehicle parked with a blue
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placard but what's missing is the person that actually belongs it that placard. this illustrates what we learned to be a challenge for enforcement. during our committee discussions we heard from the parking control officers and we learned how time-consuming the process is to conduct enforcement. the peo's work as a team, they have to be able to interview either the driver or the person who is in possession of the placard in order to verify that they are using that placard legitimately. now what makes that difficult is that there may be a placard holder who is a passenger who is being driven to an appointment and that placard holder may actually be somewhere away from the vehicle, around the corner at that appointment. so just interviewing the driver actually isn't enough to confirm that that placard is
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being used properly. you have to be able to make the connection between the placard holder and the placard. this is time-consuming and occasionally even dangerous because some drivers are so invested in what they get from holding that placard. now, for me looking at this recommendation increasing enforcement you heard bob mention that many of us came to the committee with an opinion on this matter and i started out with the opinion that enforcement was really the only solution to the problem. but what i learned over the deliberations of the committee is that while enforcement is a very important part of the solution, in and of itself enforcement over placard misuse can't actually solve the problem. the committee agreed that requesting more enforcement might include increasing the number of parking control officers that enforce placards, increasing stings, conducting
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outreach regarding placard enforcement and considering a volunteer program. i want to point out that this recommendation also does not require any changes at the state law level. this is a program that the city can implement locally. this is something that the mta has actually already begun, that they have added 33 additional pco's to the disabled placard detail and now we have 14 pco's and a supervisor who dedicate all their time to enforcing placard misuse. also to make it easier for the ofrsers to do their investigations we recommend the department of motor vehicles should make placard holder photograph available so the officers will have an easier time matching the person to the placard. . >> in this third slide what
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you see is a dmv site. what i think is important is they have a special parking place for accessible vehicles so a person who is going to get their license using an accessible vehicle can easily park. that's all to the good, but we say dmv needs to do more. you heard the suggestion that they need to find a way to link a picture to the placard. there's something else. we suggest that dmv upgrade its data base to include information about medical providers who certify placards. right now they have no way to track whether a clinic certifies 50 a week, 500 a week, one a month. their operating system is still doss, that's how antiquated their system is, but they need
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state money. we can only say please do that. the idea of having a record of how many placards a practitioner issues helps identify possible fraud. we've heard stories of places where you could go pay money and get a form already filled out and they just put your name it. no exam, pay your money and you get the form, send it in and you are going to get the blue placard. we also suggested d mplt v clarify the eligibility criteria on the dmv placard application. clarify it, but don't remove any existing criteria so that people understand they are to be issued for those who have a functional need for them. i'm saying that because here again dmv's may be inefficient or sloppy, we know of a person who had knee surgery so they should have had a red placard, a temporary one for 6 months. somehow that person got issued
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a blue placard, permanent. if dmv would clarify the requirements, that would help. remove the meter payment exemption. this slide shows the 50 states, they are in two colors, blue and gray. 35 states do charge for parking at meters even when you have a parking placard. amongst those states are florida and arizona. i specifically highlight those because a lot of people retire and move to those states. a lot of seniors live long enough they can age into a disability so the point is, those states are not having people move out, move away, because they are requiring people to pay at the meters. california is only one of 15 states that exempts people with placards from paying at the meters. but the placard is meant to increase parking access for us. the payment
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exemption reduces that because it encourages or allows people to park as long as possible, up until the street needs cleaning, which can be 3 days or a week in some parts of the city. it's also important that this is a disability accommodation. it's not an income-base the or economic benefit. the payment exemption started years ago because the parking technology then was not accessible. you had to be able to grasp coins, lift your hand, put it in a slot, turn a lever, you had to be able to do things that maybe you weren't able to do. now with technology, with smart phones that you can pay by phone with debit cards, with any number of modes and the plan to buy new meters with lowered heads so people can read what's the time frame you are buying, the technology now is accessible.
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other cities that went to requiring meter payment found it did help increase turnover. philadelphia is one of those major examples, but in my own town of st. louis also. i checked with some of my family and one runs a sheltered workshop so they are finding it's okay. but we're not suggesting this be done freely. we're suggesting that meter payment exemption ought to be coupled with a requirement that a town, city, county, could only do this if the parking technology was fully accessible so there's an if and only if before you can get to a possible local decision, and again this is all local option we're suggesting the state authorize. okay, so nobody would be forced to do anything. if the state passed this authorizing
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legislation it would still have to come back to any consider that wanted to consider it for their own local decision-making process so there would still be lengthy hearings here or elsewhere. . >> this next recommendation is to direct revenue to accessibility improvements and what's pictured on the screen is an audible pedestrian signal. this is one example of a disability improvement that could be eligible for these funds. the committee felt very strongly that if we were going to be asking people to pay at meters, if we were basically going to be taking something from them in exchange for giving them access to more access ipbl parking places, then that revenue needed to be directed specifically to accessibility improvements. now in order to decide how those funds should be used, what we would ask the mta or other local jurisdictions and cities do is to actually track the funds separately and to work with the disability
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community to come up with a list of improvements that are most relevant. there are a lot of different options. one of the options we've even heard about and talked about is doing better public outreach so people have an understanding when they misuse a parking placard they are actually depriving people of the spaces that they need when and where they need it and that they are committing more than just a ticketable crime but really harming somebody. we felt that the policy recommendations need to focus on increasing access and not necessarily revenue collection. >> our all right recommendation is to establish reasonable time limits to take away the unlimited time allowed to park currently. placard holders, 4 hour time limits at
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regular blue meters unless the posted time limit is longer and again local option could determine differently. but in cities that did have time limit options of 3 or 4 hours, they found they were pretty much able to do whatever it is they wanted to do, see a movie, go to dinner, whatever their issue, the time limit did not compromise their ability to function as they wished. separate from all this, though, there's a special subset in green zones, in meters. those often are paid for by the merchant and yet state law said you can park with a blue placard in a green zone until a street cleaning or some other reason needs to have that curb space vacated so the merchants aren't really getting benefit for what they are paying for. we're suggesting placard holders should be able to stay in a green zone up to 30 minutes, exclusive of the time it might take me or
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somebody else to get out of the vehicle and exclusive of the time it takes me or somebody else to get back in the vehicle. so 30 minutes plus exit and entry time, which ought to be enough for what a green zone is meant for, to go in and get your dry cleaning, pick up your mail, whatever the quick errand is, 30 minutes we think ought to be enough. to our surprise and greatfulness, the small business commission when we did a presentation, they decided to enforce this program. we didn't ask anybody for endorsements but they did. we also got strong positive comments when we presented to the council of district merchants. so there's already an existing body of groups that are hearing of this, especially the reasonable time limits and saying, okay, go ahead, see what happens. but we want to stress again local jurisdictions have the option of instituting time limits. we're suggesting minimum of 4 hours for regular
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spaces and 30 minutes for green zones. i'll let carla finish. >> this next slide represents our next steps. over the last 6 months a core group of us have been doing significant community outreach. we've given over 21 presentations and of those 21, 11 were targeted specifically at disability and senior advocacy groups and boards and commissions. just to give you a flavor, we've been before the mayor's disability council, the muni modal accessibility advisory council, the department of aging and adult services committee, the long-term care coordinating council, we made a presentation at the independent living resource center, the paratransit coordinating council, we had two public forums, one ever them was hosted by the fdr democratic club and another was hosted down at the sfmta and the
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mayor's office on disability. we've been to the aging and adult services commission, alameda county services commission, senior mobility workshop. but outreach is on-going. what we've been using this time to do really is to gather some constructive comments. let me talk briefly about the next steps. the mta has already taken steps to implement the items under local control including the blue zones that we talked about earlier, as well as increasing the staffing for the parking control officer unit that handles placard misuse and today what we are seeking from you from the board of directors is a resolution. our calendar says we would be going to the board of supervisors as well but we decided it's better to wait on the board of supervisors until if until the state has acted on this legislation. because as you heard bob say earlier, what we
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are really seeking is to allow to advance to the state legislative agenda for a change in state law that would allow local control for a city like san francisco to roll out a program like this, but before any city could roll out a program like this, there would have to be a set of local rule making involving this board in the future. at the earliest a sfailt bill could be introduced would be 2014 and the earliest it could go into effect would be 2015 so state legislation won automatically change local time limits or meter payment policies, we would have to do that locally. so let's talk a little bit about what we've heard at the public outreach because i think that's key and it's what our board chair mentioned at the beginning of the meeting. we received a lot of constructive feedback. most of the
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commentors supported increasing the oversight of placard approval and increasing the number of blue zones. again going back to our best practices what waech learned is that those elements in and of themselves haven't been successful in other cities at truly transforming the situation, so that's why we have additional recommendations. and it seems like the most common form of placard misuse is actually one where you have a legitimate placard holder but then you have a family member or a friend who has chosen to take advantage of the opportunity for the free and unlimited parking and that they are often times the people who are misusing placards. it's not as many that we're seeing people with disabilities somehow frauding or gaming the system, it's really more the people are misusing it because there's a financial incentive. some xhepb commentators who expressed support this removing
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the meter payment but others have been in opposition and the opposition has been in connection with the effect on low income seniors and people with disabilities. the meter exemption reduces access to parking and part of that is because not all people using placards actually are low income. it is true that 50 percent of people with disabilities in san francisco do have a low income but if you combine the people with disabilities with the low income that actually have access to a vehicle, that number drops down to only 16 percent of households. many xhepb commentators also supported reasonable time limits for placard holders but some worried that the 4 hours wouldn't be enough time and we arrived at that time limit based upon again some of the interviews with advocates in other cities. they felt 4 hours should be a reasonable amount of time to do your business but remember that those time limits
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wouldn't apply while you are getting into or getting out of your vehicle. so this last slide really is opening the door, opening the window. we do appreciate the community's feedback whether it's for or against. it has been very constructive to hear from people. we also appreciate your feedback as well and look forward to engaging in that dialogue. we're here to answer questions but we also want to draw people's attention to the web site and email addresses that are on the screen because at those locations at the sfmta.com/parkingaccess, you can actually find the extensive materials that our committee relied upon during your 6 months of deliberation and when i say extensive, i do mean there are just book loads of materials. thank you very much
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for your attention. >> thank you very much, excellent presentation, all members of the committee for a very thoughtful job. i'd like to go back again to what i said at the very beginning. i'm happy to hear the number you said of 16 percent of people who have cars are disabled -- low income folks. i'd like us to consider something we could do to be helpful to them, some kind of a sliding scale or some kind of a discount for those 16 percent. it's very important issue, i think, so i would like to before i begin the public hearing and before i hear from members of the board i'd like to offer an amendment, see if there is support on this board on it so when we discuss it members of the public could react to that as well. i would like to move that we provide an exemption of some sort for drivers with disabilities and low income and ask the staff to come up with some details around that, but that would be the thrust of it. i would be in
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support of what's offered here especially if we can allow some help to the low income seniors. would be there a second to that motion? >> second. >> discussion on it? all in favor say aye. >> before you vote on that, you might want to take public comment. >> so the public should know what we're proposing is what is in the resolution plus this as it stands. >> but this is simply a request to staff to look into a way to feasiblely --. >> i think it's a little more than asking them to look into it. my intention would be for them to do something, actually come back with something, and the details of it have to be worked out. does that make sense to you, director riskin? >> i think as carla explained or maybe it was bob, you know, the process going forward, assuming this board is supportive of advancing the recommendations whether with modifications or not, would be
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to put this into the city's state legislative agenda, move through the legislative process. that would merely enable local jurisdictions to make some of these changes through their normal legislative process so if i understood the amendment and it is consistent with, as carla said, feedback, probably the strongest point of concern associated with these recommendations would be that should we get through this process and come back with a recommendation to impose meter payment for people with blue placards that we would do that in kupb jufrption with a program that would offer a discount for placard holders with low income. >> i personally feel strongly enough about it, that would be key to me in my support. ready for public hearing? >> yes, roland wong, followed
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by (inaudible) richmond and then david fasio >> good afternoon, mr. wong >> hi, good afternoon again. i was on the committee also, you know, to discuss this big controversial topic. i used to drive and always had a difficult time finding a space to park, regular it is a regular metered space or blue zone space, it has become ever-challenging to find a space. change for the better to enable one to find a space to park. there is pros and cons to
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all areas. i'm just kind of, the stuff that's already brought up, if the agency increases disabled parking by 70 percent, 470 blue zone spaces, it may reduce regular spaces. but mraib not so much of increasing disabled parking spaces, you need to be increasing from the get-go. during the presentation it talked about review certification or recertification process, better monitoring from the dmv -- oh, gosh, already? >> 30 seconds, i think.
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>> i would like sfmta to support the recommendation. thank you.. >> next speaker, please. >> richard rothman. >> good afternoon, mr. rothman. >> hi, my name is richard rothman and thank you for the hearing. first i want to talk about the communication process. i asked in early 2012 to be notified because i heard rumors and i won't mention names, but it was a supervisor in mta said, oh, you will be notified and i found out about it when it was all recommended reading in the san francisco examiner. so i'm just concerned about this process. and i don't know anybody except the committee members in the disability community who actually knew about these meetings that were going on. and i do support the 4
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recommendations and i'm glad the commission is going to talk about the low income, you know, meter parking, but i'm also concerned about the time limits. i work for the city for 26 years and one of my goals was to see that the city hires more people with disabilities. and i think we need to look into the issue of exemptions for people who need to park near their workplace so they don't have to go out every 4 hours or move their car, and how about people who have to go to the doctor? my wife, who has a disability placard, had a root canal and that went over 4 hours so what is she supposed to do, get out of the dental chair and go move the car. so i think when you look at the low income you need to think about making exemptions for people who need to go to the doctor and employment and i think the key word is we need to be flexible and this is a
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problem and people who misuse the disability placard should be punished to the full extent of the law. thank you. >> next speaker, please. >> david fasio, richard ow >> good afternoon, mr. fasio >> good afternoon. accessible parking policy advisory committee's recommendations do not increase accessible parking. instead they place unreasonable restrictions on those of us who need reasonable accommodation. time limits increase turnover and do not increase parking availability. the only way to increase availability is to increase the number of blue zones. the commission reports the prevalence of disability has
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increased dramatically in san francisco. the report admits the number of placards far exceeds the number of blue zone parking spaces. with only 670 blue zones and a projected 1,141 to be provided in total with these recommendations in kupb kupb conjunction with only 27,000. the agency's allegations that legitimate placards are being misused by people they don't belong to, increasing the rates of use, is wrong. there is absolutely no data to support this claim. the report admits it is impossible to report if a placard was illegitimately obtained. that does not
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constitute widespread misuse. that's a point 003 percentage rate. this report or this investigation was spurred off a visual observation of 45 percent of (inaudible). >> my name is richard ow, i'm a member of the commission. we understand and i support every one of these items should be enacted and i know the problem of the parking. i live in chinatown. in the meantime

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